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TravelDelta leans into darker hues with possible cabin rebrand

Delta leans into darker hues with possible cabin rebrand

Frequent Delta Air Lines flyers are familiar with the palette of its airplane cabins. Dark grays and brighter blues with red highlights adorn the seats, and white-ish bulkheads are standard across its fleet.

Maybe not for much longer.

Delta is working on a “cabin rebrand” for cabins across its fleet that leans heavily into the dark hues of its existing color palette, an internal presentation viewed by The Points Guy shows. Seats in all four cabins — Delta One, Premium Select, Comfort+ and Main Cabin — on Delta planes would receive an updated look under the plan. And a dark navy color scheme could replace the current white-ish checkerboard look on the front bulkhead of planes.

A Delta “Look Book” rendering of a planned rebranding of its Delta One suites. DELTA AIR LINES

The rebranding does not appear to include new seats or changes to the airline’s onboard product. Only Delta’s business-class cabin, Delta One, is highlighted for “Next-Gen Delta One Suites,” according to the presentation.

“We don’t have any news to announce or confirmations to make regarding our aircraft interiors,” a Delta spokesperson said.

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Darker hues for full-service airlines

Achieving the right look and feel of airplane cabins is a priority for airlines. When they meet travelers’ expectations, flyers end their trip with a positive experience and are more likely to return. When they do not, travelers take note and, in a worst-case scenario, could avoid flying an airline again.

A recent study from researchers at Purdue University found that an airline’s color palette can influence what travelers think of that airline. Darker hues are generally associated with upscale full-service carriers (like Delta) and vibrant colors with discounters (for example, Spirit Airlines). They wrote that airlines should be “strategic in their color and logo design choices” in order to match their target market segment.

Delta positions itself as the premium U.S. airline. This is evident in both its existing product and customer service, which are widely viewed as a step above its domestic competition. Keeping the look and feel of its cabins up to date and fresh is an important part of that market positioning.

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Leaning into dark gray and navy

The renderings, which are described as helping Delta’s Onboard Brand Experience team define its “vision of Delta’s new cabin branding,” show Delta One suites sporting dark gray seat covers with red trim. The blue that is the center of the current seat migrates and darkens to the sidewalls that become a navy hue. And the storage cubby sports a red background.

The current Delta One suite on the A330-900. ERIC ROSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Premium Select and domestic first-class recliner seats receive an updated look to what appears to be the existing product. Seats in the latter cabin become a solid dark blue with a gray headrest and red trim.

A Delta “Look Book” rendering of a planned rebranding of Comfort+ and domestic first-class seats. DELTA AIR LINES

And in the economy cabin, Comfort+ seats become a solid dark gray and navy with red trim. Main Cabin seats are a solid dark navy with blue trim.

A Delta “Look Book” rendering of rebranded Main Cabin seats. DELTA AIR LINES

The most striking aspect of the rebranding is the new forward bulkheads. Out is a checkerboard white-ish look and in is a dark navy-with-white-dots look called “Dark Celestial Sky”; rear bulkheads will feature a white-with-dark-dots look dubbed “White Celestial Sky.”

When will the new look debut?

Delta’s rebranded cabins could — emphasis added — hit the skies as soon as the end of this year. While the presentation does not specify a date, it does indicate that Boeing 757-200s currently with the airline’s premium domestic layout could be among the first refit with the new look when they go in for cabin modifications as soon as March. The planes are due to receive a standard domestic seating layout as new Airbus A321neos in a premium transcontinental configuration with lie-flat seats in business class arrive.

Any date, however, is subject to change and delay due to the numerous supply chain issues that plague the aviation industry. These could affect everything from the materials needed for the rebranding to the arrival of new planes themselves.

The presentation indicates that A321neos — both in standard domestic and premium transcon layouts — with the new branding are expected from around March 2025. Airbus A350-900 deliveries could have the new look from around December 2024. Airbus A330s could be retrofitted with the new branding from around February 2026.

Delta’s new Boeing 737 MAX 10s are also slated to receive the new cabin branding. However, the timing is unknown after Boeing in January confirmed at least a one-year certification delay for the plane that it had hoped to secure Federal Aviation Administration sign-off for in the fourth quarter. The delay is among the broader fallout from the Alaska Airlines MAX 9 accident Jan. 5.

The new onboard branding could begin flying on single-aisle planes in Delta’s mainline fleet by the end of the year. Under a “potential schedule” to update the cabins on planes when they come in for maintenance checks, Airbus A220s could receive the new look from the fourth quarter. Updates to Airbus A320-family planes and Boeing 717s could begin in the first quarter of 2025.

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